The Evil Onion
Grandma’s Marathon, Duluth, Minnesota
23 June 2013
by Evil Joy
The 37th Annual running of Grandma’s Marathon occurred yesterday in Duluth, Minnesota. And it was even more special due to the presence of Evil Joy and her Dr. Evil. They started together. They ran together. They finished together. Evil Joy did not have to follow through with her very real Evil Threat of leaving Dr. Evil in Duluth if he left her on the marathon course.
“He stayed with me. Through the whole thing.” said Evil Joy.
The weekend started with Evil Joy and Dr. Evil departing Hudson, Wisconsin. First stop : Awesome A’s house – Eldest Spawn was staying there for the weekend. Their second stop was Auntie W’s house – now known as “Spawn Drop Zone.” The final stop before their Duluth Destination was Auntie J’s house – renamed “Fur Spawn Drop Zone” as the pups stayed there for the weekend.
Evil Joy shares her memories of the weekend.
“The traffic wasn’t too bad considering it was a weekend and we, like most of the area, were heading north. That’s what people do here on the weekend – they “go up north.” Temperatures were warm in the cities but continued to drop as we approached our destination. As the temperatures dropped, the traffic picked up!”
Evil Joy said the Expo was wonderful and she and Dr. Evil both made a few pre-race purchases. Packet pickup was very smooth and nicely run. All of the volunteers were amazing. There is a spaghetti feed the night before the Marathon and Dr. Evil was very excited to partake. Luckily for Evil Joy, they had a gluten-free option that was actually “pretty tasty.”
Evil Joy continues.
“We left the expo and made our way to the grocery store – our infamous ‘must haves’ for the morning of a long run. I am addicted – mentally – to my pre-run brown rice cakes with almond butter and 2 bananas. We picked up a treat to have in the room as well – Greek yogurt with chocolate rice cakes to dip. YUM!!!”
Evil Joy and Dr. Evil stayed at the University of Minnesota-Duluth dorms while in town. They were very pleased with their accommodations. While a hotel would have been amazing, it would have “broken the piggy bank.”
“It was time for bed. I couldn’t sleep. I was so very thankful for experienced friends sharing with us that no sleep is totally normal and not to worry about it.”
4:45am Saturday 22 June dawned….sort of.
“The fog was crazy! Just when you thought you’d seen the worst of it – you’d lose more visibility. Thankfully Dr. Evil and I were bused to the start of the race and didn’t have to drive in that mess. We were up front – I get crazy car sick – and overheard the bus drivers desperately trying to get another lost bus driver – with a bus full of half marathon runners – to the start of the half. The half started about an hour earlier than the full so those people were surely nervous!”
Evil Joy and Dr. Evil arrived at the drop site, found the sea of port-o-pots, and anxiously awaited the start. “Well…I was anxious. I don’t think Dr. Evil is ever nervous – he’s steady as all get out!” corrected Evil Joy.
The National Anthem was beautifully sung by a member of a local National Guard unit. Then……it was time.
“There were people everywhere. I am short and the group behind us – they must have all been over 6 feet tall! They kept telling me when the line would move so I wouldn’t get run over!
We ran….and ran. Started out with the 4:45 pace group. At mile 4 I had to tell Dr. Evil I couldn’t maintain that pace for another 22 miles so we slowed slightly and ran with the 5 hour pace group. Eventually they passed us too. At that point – I just wanted to run and did NOT care about how long it took. After 5 hours – who really cares if it’s 5 hours and 10 minutes or 5 hours and 30 minutes – that’s still a really long time to be moving!”
She continues, “The fog was so thick it literally looked like the sea of people were lemmings running off the edge of the world!” The weather conditions deteriorated. By Mile 3 the White Warning Flags were up. From the race website, “WHITE FLAG (Risk of Hypothermia): The risk of hypothermia is very low, but still exists especially in slow runners or in wet and windy conditions.” Evil Joy and Dr. Evil were quite comfortable with the temperatures while running. “The wind was cold at times but we very much prefer that to being hot!” said Evil Joy.
“Finally…at mile 12 I gave in to the need I’d had since the start – and I mean the START of the race – I had to go to the bathroom.”
Evil Joy has a new name for Mother Nature – it’s one we can’t print here. Let’s just say she was not thrilled with the timing of monthly events in her life at mile 12.
The race continued. At Mile 20, sponsored by Verizon, Evil Joy and Dr. Evil saw two dear friends and seeing them gave the runners the energy to ‘just keep running…just keep running.’
“I thought Mile 25 was NEVER going to get here!” exclaimed Evil Joy. Belly dancers were out in the now steady rain dancing under the overpass in Duluth’s historic downtown.
Finally…there. The finish line. Evil Joy said, “I was thinking…OH THANK GOD WE CAN STOP RUNNING SOON! I just wanted my t-shirt and medal and to go on my blog page and put a line through one more thing on my Bucket List page!”
Evil Joy and Dr. Evil finished together at 5:36:45. In the rain. And oh so happy. Dr. Evil is a man of few words but he posted this moving statement on Facebook :
The Marathon is complete for another year. When asked if she would do another one Evil Joy responded, “It’s like child birth – I need to forget a bit first before I think about doing it again.”
We had an amazing time together last weekend. Thanks to everyone who helped us during training, running, traveling. Dr. Evil’s statement on Facebook made me cry happy tears – during the race I kept thinking about how far we’d come. I didn’t have any idea he was thinking the same thing. He doesn’t talk much about all that happened. I probably do that enough for both of us. But his words healed a few places in me I didn’t realize needing healing. So this was way more than a marathon. Way more….
EJ out – to hobble to get some coffee.
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